Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yemen’s Opposition Lists Key Demands as Demonstrations Continue

By Mohammed Hatem - Mar 30, 2011

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Yemen to condemn an explosion at a weapons factory this week that killed more than 100 people and which the government blamed on al-Qaeda.

Members of the opposition, including organizations representing youth, held a press conference today in the capital, Sana’a, calling for an end to the 32-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and listing key demands. Anti- government protests in Yemen have been taking place for more than two months, inspired by revolts that overthrew the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt. A crackdown in Sana’a earlier this month killed as many as 46 protesters.

The demands, delivered by opposition representatives Thiyazan al-Hakimi and Abdullah Nsherm, include the removal of Saleh and a ban on his family from involvement in military and civil affairs as well as the abolition of the constitution and a six-month transition period during which parliament and the Shura Council are dissolved.

The demonstrators also want local councils, governors, the supreme judiciary council and the general prosecutor dismissed and a supreme constitutional court set up. They are calling for the creation of a national transitional council of five members -- including someone representing youth -- who had no affiliation to the Saleh regime.

Other demands include abolishing the Ministry of Information and permitting freedom of media ownership and independence as well as freedom of expression. They want the state security apparatus, national intelligence agencies and the national defense council dismantled and replaced by a national security organization under the Interior Ministry that is responsible only for investigating and preventing foreign threats to domestic security.

Source: The Bloomberg

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